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More about the herb ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a powerful and popular herb within the Ayurvedic medicine system that has also grown increasingly popular here in Europe, as more and more people have opened their eyes to this interesting herb and its trusted health properties. Here you can read more about what this exciting herb is used for and where to get it.

  • What is ashwagandha?
  • What is it used for?
  • Where can you find ashwagandha?
  • How to dose ashwagandha?

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been one of the most important herbs in the Indian medicine system Ayurveda since time immemorial for its trusted health properties. The herb originates in India but also grows in the Middle East and North Africa. The plant looks like a tall bush and can grow up to five metres tall. The parts of the bush used are the leaves, fruit and roots, although the roots are considered to be the most interesting part of the bush. In Ayurveda, the herb is considered to provide both power and energy and is therefore often called "Indian Ginseng".

Picture of what ashwagandha root looks like.

What is it used for?

Historically, ashwagandha has been used in the Ayurvedic traditions to combat stress and fatigue, among other issues, and has in some cases also been used for sleep problems. Ashwagandha has traditionally also been used to build up the immune system after illness, for example. Whether this really works is unknown, but some of those who have tried it seem to notice a difference.

Research carried out at Banara Hindu University in Varanasi, India shows that the herb can reduce anxiety by stabilising the mood. In addition, some of the study’s participants who had symptoms of depression showed some signs of combatting them after consuming the herb. Another study carried out at the University of Texas Health Science Center has shown that ashwagandha stimulates certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which could explain the anti-anxiety effect shown when consuming this herb.

Where can you find ashwagandha?

The increased demand for ashwagandha means that the herb can now be bought in most well-stocked health food stores. The herb is available in both capsule form and in a loose powder that can be easily mixed into smoothies, for example.

How to dose ashwagandha?

Extracts of ashwagandha root can be taken as needed or daily to achieve a balanced effect. As long as you follow the dosage instructions on the packaging, there are no known side effects. However, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you should consult a doctor before using ashwagandha.

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